Here are some good things about Bravo’s new TV series, “Princesses: Long Island,” a one-hour reality show featuring six Jewish women in their late 20s searching for a husband.
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1. It is not called “Jewish American Princesses.”
Despite the opening sequence, which features a synagogue sign and the voice-over, “There’s an old Jewish proverb that when you marry an old maid you get a faithful wife,” Bravo was smart enough not to feature the words “Jewish” or “JAP” anywhere in the title or their promotional materials. In fact, they let the characters proudly claim the stereotype for themselves.
“I’m Jewish, I’m American and I’m a princess,” says Ashlee, a 4’9” daddy’s girl. Indeed she is: After going for a pedicure with her dad, she has a staffer carry her on his back to her car so she won’t have to wear the salon’s slippers. “I only wear heels,” she says, listing her “sweatpants” heels, her “beach” heels and her “daytime” heels.
2. The stereotypes about cheap Jews will finally be put to rest.
No, here on Long Island, these girls (it’s hard to call them women since they all live at home and are mostly under- or unemployed) have never pinched a penny – they probably never handle pennies since the denomination is too low for them.
“I grew up with a silver spoon up my ass,” says Erica, the self-described party girl who will drunkenly fall over, Snooki-like, a few times in upcoming episodes.
Amanda, a 26-year-old bleached-blonde who is dating the anodyne, 38-year-old Jeff, takes her competitive mother bikini-shopping so she can have her mother pay. (What, she never heard of just forging her mom’s signature on the credit card?)
Ashlee freaks out while driving through Freeport, L.I. because she sees furniture on people’s porches. “Lock your doors, honey,” her father counsels over the phone. No one has yet to talk about sales, bargains, moneylending or Shylock.
3. America will finally learn some Jewish words and phrases.
The first episode is called “You Had Me at Shalom.” The second? “Shabbacolypse Now.” No, it’s not really a word, but who cares? We still get to see Chanel’s “modern Orthodox” family having Shabbat dinner (how religious can they be if they’re letting a crew film on Shabbat?), with a stern Israeli father and a mother who throws her hands up to the sky at her 28-year-old daughter’s spinsterhood, saying, “It’s all from shamayim, it’s all from Hashem.”
Ashlee gets farklempt, the girls toast L’chaim and in an upcoming episode they’ll … break out the Manischewitz! (not understanding that "The Hebrew Hammer" was a spoof and Jews actually drink award-winning wines).
Best of all, there’s now competition for "The Big Lebowski’s" best Jewish line, “I’m shomer f---ing Shabbos,” when Jeff says in a catfight, “Shabbat Shalom? F—you.” Maybe not.
4. The show won’t cause a shortage of Jewish men.
According to the various characters, the type of perfect man they are holding out for is 10 years older, a lawyer, a doctor or Wall Street guy who is “gonna kiss your feet the way they should.” Silent, stoop-shouldered “yes-men” like their fathers.
In fact, Erica invites some South Shore men– buff firemen and trainers – to her pool party, as eye candy. Clearly not Jews. I don’t think many non-Jews will be rushing to sign up for JDate after this show.
5. The terrible “Jewfro” hairstyle will be put to rest.
We have Seth Rogen to thank for re-popularizing the “Jewfro.” Of course the princesses have their hair blown straight, but the magic happens when they come out of the swimming pool: It doesn’t curl up or frizz out! Could it possibly be there are Jewesses with naturally straight hair? Or did they just get the long-lasting Keratin treatment, which leaves your hair straight for four months?
6. Hollywood still has time to get religious Jews right.
Erica says her family is “Reformed.” Reformed from what? Catholicism? Her family is so Reform they don’t even know how to buy kosher meat (Haven’t they heard of Hebrew National?) So they decide to lie to the “Orthodox” Chanel, and tell her the food is kosher. How? Erica’s father “blesses” it by saying “barch ata adonai – now it’s kosher!” Chanel bites into her hot dog without even asking to check the package. Some religion, Chanel.
7. It makes me feel bad for the Italian-American community.
God, how many seasons of "Jersey Shore" did they have to suffer through? I’m sure that most Italian-Americans swore to anyone who would listen how they’re nothing like the self-proclaimed “Guidos” and “Guidettes” on the show, how their lives are about more than GTL (Gym, Tanning, Laundry) and their abs are nothing like those of “The Situation,” but they’ll never be able to shake the crew’s tarnishing of their image. Not after they got kicked out of Italy. Let’s hope the Long Island princesses don’t head to Israel.
8. Never again must we wonder if something is bad for the Jews.
Often, when something related to the Jews comes out in the news or on TV or in culture, we ask, "Is it good for the Jews?" Bernie Madoff? Bad. Mel Gibson’s ranting? So bad it’s good, in the end, because sympathy is with the Tribe.
But you'll never have to ask yourself this question again. All you have to do is compare it to “Princesses: Long Island,” and you’ll realize that absolutely nothing in the media will ever be as truly horrible for the Jewish people.